Everyone should prepare for what could happen to them any time by writing a good Will and Power of Attorney for both health care and general legal matters.
A Will is nothing to be afraid of and it doesn’t mean you’re feeling doom and dread. You’re simply being smart to make sure that if something happens to you that your belongings go to whomever YOU select instead of who the State intestate (without a will) laws dictate. You also get to designate who you desire to be in charge of administering the Will’s provisions by designating the executor or executrix. This person is charged with making sure the provisions of your will are followed. A good lawyer can draft your will as simple or complex as you wish and as your estate requires. Don’t put this important matter off until you “feel like you need it” because we never know when our time may come, and you don’t want to leave your loved ones without directions of who you want to leave in charge and to whom your belongings should go.
Power of Attorney (POA, Living Will, Advanced Directive)
A Power of Attorney is often called by various names, as indicated in this section’s title. There are two main types: 1) Healthcare, 2) General legal matters. A POA for Healthcare appoints the person or persons you want to talk with doctors or nurses about your health care in the event you are not able to do so yourself. You also should designate what your wishes are as to the degree of care you want (i.e., as much as possible, regardless of your situation, or nothing-allow nature to take its course and a natural death to follow if necessary, or you may choose a middle-ground of the level of care. Whatever your choice, you should have a lawyer draw up your POA so your loved ones know what your healthcare wishes are and who is designated to communicate those wishes to healthcare personnel. A General or Legal POA is a document that appoints someone to act for you if you are unable or incapable to do so yourself with regard to all other types of matters other than healthcare. For most people, one wants to have a trusted individual in place to act for them in banking, financial, or business matters while they are either incapacitated or for some other reason such as an extended vacation or other time away. A general power of attorney may be as expansive or as limited as one chooses it to be. For instance, one may wish to give a limited power of attorney to a real estate agent for the sole exclusive purpose of a real estate transaction on a certain date, or it may be that you desire a power of attorney over your bank account granted to someone you trust if you find it difficult to manage yourself, or you may authorize a financial planner or stock broker to buy or sell for you. It’s really your wish, prepared at your preference by a lawyer. In most cases, however, it’s a broad document prepared along with a health care POA and Will just in case something happens to you and you need someone to be in charge of your affairs until you get better.